2011 - Senior: Led off on floor at all 14 meets, including at the NCAA Championships, and hit 13 routines ... Recorded a season-best 9.825 on floor at the State of Illinois Classic to tie for third ... Also competed on balance beam at 11 meets and matched a career high with a 9.850 ... Notched four top-four finishes, including a second-place showing on beam at Missouri ... Earned the team's Scholar-Athlete Award along with Melissa Fernandez ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten and Scholastic All-American selection.
2010 - Junior: Led off on floor at all 14 meets and recorded a career-best 9.850 on floor at the State of Illinois Classic ... Competed on balance beam in the final nine meets of the season and tallied a career-high 9.850 at the Big Ten Championships ... Had six top-five finishes, including a pair of runner-up showings ... Named team's Most Improved Gymnast ... Academic All-Big Ten and Scholastic All-American selection.
2009 - Sophomore: Exhibitioned twice on floor ... Academic All-Big Ten and Scholastic All-American selection.
2008 - Freshman: Competed twice on floor for the Illini with a personal-best 9.700 at Iowa/Michigan State.
High School/Club: Four-time Level 10 Regional Qualifier ... Placed 11th in the all-around at 2006 Region VII Level 10 Regionals ... Placed 13th in the all-around at 2005 Region VII Level 10 Regionals ... Top-four all-around finish at Virginia State Championships (2005-2007) ... 2005 State Beam Champion ... Two-time Level 9 Regional Qualifier ... Level 9 Eastern National Competitor, placing third on beam ... Competed for Ocean Tumblers Gymnastics ... Coached by Rick Walker, Erin Berry, Melissa Sutter and Casey Quinn.
Personal: Born May 10, 1989 ... Daughter of Pete and Pauline Perino ... Says she chose Illinois because "I loved the campus, the coaches, and the team. They were all so welcoming, and they were like one big family."... Majoring in psychology.
Samantha's Career Highs
Beam: 9.850 (twice, last 2/25/11)
Floor: 9.850 (3/20/10)
The Perino File
Nickname: Sam, Samuel, Sami
I chose Illinois because: The team
Favorite place on campus: Green St. because I live there and it has everything you need in one location
Best memory as an Illini:Making it to Nationals my sophomore year
Being a Fighting Illini means: Bleeding orange and blue
Funniest teammate: Hannah Welker
Best dressed teammate: Hannah Welker
Secret talent of one of my teammates: Elise is a fantastic baker
Something I have to bring on every road trip: Ipod
Pre-meet superstitions: Dancing in the locker room
Favorite event: Floor
Favorite athlete: Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
Favorite Illini athlete: Paul Ruggeri (Men's Gymnastics)
Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite movie: Armageddon
Favorite TV show: Any reality TV show
Favorite book: The Twilight Series
Favorite food: Pasta and Pizza
Favorite activity outside gymnastics: Shopping, going out with friends
Favorite restaurant: Anything Mexican
Dream Job: Own my own business
Unique or quirky habit: Dancing at random moments
Actress I would want to play me in a movie about my life: Sandra Bullock
Cartoon character that best describes me: Lola Bunny
Super power I would most like to have: Flying
Best thing I cook in the kitchen: Anything that is sweet
Person I would most like to spend a day with: Chelsea Handler because she is hilarious
If I was on a reality show it would be: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
If I wasn't a gymnast, I would play: Soccer
One thing I can't go a day without: Cell phone
Something most people don't know about me: I used to have a really strong southern accent
One thing I've always dreamt about doing: Being a famous singer
Three words that describe me are: Laid back, funny, and determined
Career Plans: Grad school, then hopefully become a high school guidance counselor
Updated April 2011